Roger Waters announced his first new rock album in a quarter century, Is This the Life We Really Want?, with a teaser video that features a sampling of some moody music that will ostensibly appear on the LP. Although it does not specify a release date, the video promises the record will be “coming soon.”
The video shows a document being redacted, à la confidential reports the U.S. government releases via Freedom of Information Act requests. The words speak of subprime loans and crimes in general, and it includes quixotic phrases like “Fear drives the mills” and juxtapositions of the words “nincompoop” and “Big Pharma.” When all of the omissions are complete, it reveals the album’s title.
As the clip plays, fuzzy synthesizers play drawn-out, melancholy chords to a swinging drum line, faintly recalling the music Waters wrote for The Wall. Also reminiscent of the singer-songwriter’s past recordings are samples of prim-and-proper British voices speaking, including some announcing the time, others speaking of the weather and one wishing a “happy new year to you.”
Waters discussed the making of the new album last year with Rolling Stone. “We’ve got some really good work in the can,” he said at the time. He also spoke highly of producer Nigel Godrich’s ability to rein in his ideas. “He said to me, ‘People always want to do these long records. How long was The Dark Side of the Moon?’ I said 38 minutes,” the singer recalled. “I so feel for young musicians, knowing that all of your work will be stolen, and nobody wants to pay you. [But] it also means you can say anything you want. Well, I’ve always said anything I’ve wanted anyway.”
In addition to working on the album, Waters is also ramping up to a new tour, dubbed Us + Them after a song on Dark Side. “It’ll be a mixture of stuff from my long career, stuff from my years with Pink Floyd, some new things,” he said in a statement. “Probably 75 percent of it will be old material and 25 percent will be new, but it will be all connected by a general theme. It’ll be spectacular like all my shows have been.”